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Armed self-defence in the UK: apparently crossbows are OK

“Armed gang pick on the wrong gran as she fires CROSSBOW at masked men who kicked down her door”, reports the Daily Mirror.

A woman has told how she shot at a machete-wielding intruder with a CROSSBOW when a gang burst into her home and attacked her family.

Anji Rhys, 49, said she sprang into action when masked raiders kicked down her door in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, after apparently mistaking it for a drugs den.

Ex-Thai boxer Anji, who is reportedly a grandmother, grabbed her crossbow, which she dubs Manstopper, and shot one thug during the horrifying ordeal.

Anji keeps the bow on a wall inside the house to protect her family which include her partner Rebecca, son Dillon and elderly mum Lilian.

The so-called survivalist, who possesses an arsenal of weapons inside her home, was reportedly watching TV when the yobs entered her home and pinned down her son.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to read that this lady was able to protect herself and her family. But I am mystified by the supportive tone of the Mirror reporter, and of most of the comments, when exactly the same sequence of events but involving a gun-wielding grandma in the US instead of a crossbow-wielding one in the UK would have been dismissed as NRA propaganda and further evidence of the lunacy and barbarism of Americans in their “love affair with the gun”.

41 comments to Armed self-defence in the UK: apparently crossbows are OK

  • terence patrick hewett

    My favoured domestic weapon of choice is the rolling pin; it is absolutely lethal.

  • Mr Ed

    Crossbows are, like some in the Royal Navy initially said about submarines ‘Damned un-English‘. However, a longbow would not be so effective in close-quarter battle IMHO, so as our property market is so rigged and our money supply so inflated by central banking, and our homes so small, we’ll have to make do and mend.

    The police can do nothing about bows in a private house, as there is no statute to restrict their ownership or use in private (except as violence is otherwise unlawful). Let us see if the worms are brought to the surface by this incident, as if by the patter of a seagull’s feet mimicking rain (or so it is thought).

  • Stuck-Record

    And expect legislation to ban Cross-bows in 3…2…1…

  • ns

    Speaking of us deplorable ‘murricans:
    A link to a Reason article about a CDC study of defensive gun use in the U.S. That the CDC (Centers for Disease Control, a federal agency) never published.

  • Ferox

    I don’t know the ethnic provenance of the name Anji Rhys, but it doesn’t sound English to me, exactly. And from the article: “Anji said the gang were all white and spoke with local accents.

    If the ethnicities and gender of the homeowner were different, if a white man had shot some non-white home invaders with his crossbow, would the Mirror and the commentators be as supportive?

    Given the current trend of events, I have my doubts.

  • QET

    But I am mystified

    As you are meant to be.

  • Duncan S


    From the pictures on the various news websites, Anji Rhys appears to be caucasian. As for her name not sounding English, that’s because it’s Welsh, or at least her surname “Rhys” is. As for her christian name, and based on the linked article giving her age as 49, it’s probable that her parents were fans of Simon and Garfunkel: “Anji” is a track on their 1966 album “Sounds of Silence”.

  • I don’t know the ethnic provenance of the name Anji Rhys, but it doesn’t sound English to me, exactly.

    The first name Anji is usually a diminutive of “Angela” in English and given that she is 49 rather than 12 was probably christened as such.

    The surname Rhys is of Welsh derivation, the English translation being “Enthusiasm” (seems appropriate given the circumstances) and also the (as Rhŷs) the epithet of several notable figures in Welsh history. So pretty bloody British in general.

    You Go Girl!

  • terence patrick hewett

    “Your majesty says very true: if your majestie is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which, your majesty knows, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do believe your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Davy’s day.”


  • George Atkisson

    The thugs picked the wrong woman to “quarrel” with (quarrel being the technical term for a crossbow bolt).

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    Given that crossbows are more powerful than longbows then it is a good choice for the defence of the castle, sorry I mean the home. Downside is it takes longer to reload than your everyday longbow, but I expect once a bolt embeds itself in one besieger the other rampaging knaves may well depart rapidly.

    Un-English perhaps but the highly effective weapon wins.

  • Rob Fisher

    Confused. Was she arrested? Isn’t it illegal to keep things around for the express purpose of self defence?

  • bobby b

    Just as an aside, I wouldn’t run out and buy a crossbow for home defense purposes. Unless you’re using broadheads, you can shoot someone and not even slow them down unless you hit them just right. It hurts, but if you don’t pull the bolt out, you don’t bleed. Then, you have an enraged assailant, you’re out of shots, and it takes time to crank it back up.

    You’re better off having a taser, or pepper spray, or tear gas. Or a rolling pin. Or you can move here . . . 😎

  • bobby b

    (And now I’ve checked, and find that tasers and pepper spray and tear gas are also illegal in the UK. Dang. Can you give intruders an angry look, or is that prohibited also? Maybe Albion’s Blue Front Door is correct, and a crossbow is actually the best weapon the UK will allow.)

  • Runcie Balspune

    And now I’ve checked, and find that tasers and pepper spray and tear gas are also illegal in the UK. Dang.

    I’ve often considered air pellet/BB guns a legal alternative, they can be quite nasty at close range, even just pistols at 400-500 fps with light ammunition, using PCP or CO2 and large capacity clips means rapid fire (albeit semi-auto only in the UK) and would probably make someone think twice when they get a face full, whilst you load the next clip …

    If you could get away with a crossbow I am sure you could use air guns for home defense, and the thought of confronting some little scrote in the night with one of these is quite tempting.

  • Paul Marks

    Good post Natalie.

    By the way (said mad Paul going off on one of his tangents) I am reminded of the regression in China – the primitive firearms (and even short bows) used by the Chinese in the early 19th century were actually inferior to the repeating cross bows (mass produced repeating crossbows – with interchangeable parts) used in China thousands of years before.

    It is sometimes said that whilst some forms of technology can be lost (for example Roman plumbing or heating, or Roman factories) MILITARY technology is an exception to this rule – but it is not an exception. For example, Roman artillery was lost in the Dark Ages, and “Greek Fire” was lost later.

    The Chinese military that the British faced in the 1840s was inferior to that of the First Emperor of the Chin dynasty (from which China gets its name) thousands of years before.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Hewett – for hand-to-hand combat in a confined space (such as an ordinary hallway or flight of stairs) I would prefer a Gladius to a rolling pin – it can kill or maim man-after-man in seconds with no need to load or reload (as the Roman army showed for centuries), however a rolling pin is certainly vastly cheaper than (say) a Mainz Condor modal Gladius.

  • Sam Duncan

    “I’ve often considered air pellet/BB guns a legal alternative”

    Illegal in Scotland, unfortunately. Banned by those freedom-loving nationalists.

  • Runcie Balspune

    would prefer a Gladius to a rolling pin

    The pilum or shorter spiculum would be an easier weapon inside a house, keeping the enemy at bay and launching it at him when he retreats.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Illegal in Scotland

    Only without a certificate.

  • Phil B

    @Runcie Balspune – you could go under the radar and make yourself one of THESE. Fit some kind of bayonet and when you run out of ammunition, charge the buggers with a blood curdling scream. And the bayonet equipped crossbow too, of course.

    And, needless to say, broadheads are illegal in the UK (though easy to make – but that will be interpreted as malice aforethought and premeditated) but blunts which are rubber tipped quarrels for small game would be reasonably hard hitting.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The problem with a slingshot, bow or crossbow is the space needed to wield them (not suitable for inside a house), they also need an element of strength and accuracy, but the biggest issue is their reload time, if you miss the first shot it is unlikely you’ll get a second one against a determined intruder.

    A BB gun is simple to use and doesn’t need a lot of strength, although individual projectiles are quite easy to avoid or resist, with large capacity magazines and semi-automatic fire I am sure a couple of dozen steel shot to the head is going to make anyone think twice, and with clips for fast reload there will be more to come.

    Melee weapons like a club, blade or an axe again need some space and strength, whereas a polearm, which does not actually need to be sharp, like a loft pole or something, is easier to wield as a jabbing attack and keeps the distance, plus it is quite unnerving having a narrow point waved about your face.

    In combination with the above, there are now “tactical flashlights” available which have really bright beams, even the small pocket ones, over a thousand lumens is not uncommon, and many include a strobe setting, using this in combination with a projectile weapon will really give you home advantage. A lot of replica air guns have picatinny rails so you can even get a SWAT-style flashlight mounted on them, or even a laser aiming dot, which should really give ’em the willies.

  • Paul Marks

    A lot of points to consider Runcie Balspune – but I certainly have taken on board what you have written.

  • Mike

    “But I am mystified by the supportive tone of the Mirror reporter…”

    It’s because Anji is a lesbian, obviously. Intersectionality points.

  • Bruce

    Broadheads are illegal?

    Broadheads are designed as HUNTING heads for arrows. A correctly sharpened and mounted “broad” head slices through organs and blood vessels to cause rapid incapacitation and death by “exsanguination”.

    So, does this mean that the statist sociopaths prefer wounded game animals to totter off into the woods and die later from infection or, in a weakened state, by being torn apart by carnivores, in the manner of a Mars Bar beset by a fat kid? The caring, sharing, so utterly concerned and righteous, prefer animals to die slowly and in agony?

    Getting to the point, so to speak, they do NOT want the peasants to be able to efficiently bring down the “Kings deer” or any other form of “free-range” protein, or, indeed, general vermin. “Field skills” are field skills, and in their degenerate “minds”, it it not the hide of the “fluffy creatures” that is paramount but one MUCH closer to home.

    Who ‘da thunk it?.

    The “classic” English head for PROPER long-bow arrows look like a half-deflated rugby ball that has been slightly sharpened at one end. They were DESIGNED for hunting men in armour, NOT dinner. These tips are only a little larger in width than the shaft of a long-bow arrow. Thus, they function as an armour-piercing “chisel” that essentially punches the enemy armour inwards to form a “square-ish” hole through which the shaft surely follows, relatively unimpeded. The day of anyone so struck will go rapidly from bad to worse.

  • Spray can of deep heat is legal.

  • Rich Rostrom

    No one seems to have noted that this woman is a lesbian, which is a fairly strong get-out-of-jail-free card, especially since she shot a man.

  • Runcie Balspune (April 26, 2018 at 11:53 pm), you are right that owning an airgun is not illegal in Scotland. The natz began registering all new airgun purchases in Scotland several years ago and recently ‘progressed’ to demanding that all owners get licensed. As their attempt to become independent failed, they have no border checks to register all airguns bought in England by Scots and taken north, and the local police are too busy prosecuting hate speech to search every home for the many old weapons that must be lying around. So it may be some time before they have the data to ‘progress’ to their obviously-intended final stage.

    Rich (April 27, 2018 at 4:33 pm), Mike made the same point at April 27, 2018 at 11:16 am, and I suspect others wondered (I certainly did) whether her intersectionality points might have contributed to the ability of a paper like the Mirror to feel safe in so not going with the standard PC programme. I will hope it was not their only reason.

  • bobby b

    Just wait. The intruder will show up to a hospital for his injuries and turn out to be a transsexual Islamic illegal-alien, and then the Mirror will crucify the bloodthirsty homeowner with her lone PC point of lesbian status.

    It’s all just intersectional poker. No matter how good your hand is, someone could hold a better one.

  • Sonny Wayze

    “Spray can of deep heat is legal.”

    What would happen if you happened to have a can of spray laquer handy?

    Asking for a friend.

  • JC

    Oh you poor bastards, and I say that with the deepest sympathy. Obviously the next step is to ban crossbows, even for lesbian grandmothers. They’re quite easily made. ‘Tis naught but a bent stick mounted on a bigger stick, to propel a pointy stick using a piece of twine. So ban crossbows. ‘Tis quite easily done. But the longbow, lacking the shoulder thing is not only more powerful, but is capable of sustained fire of up to 30 arrows per minute! So ban longbows, even for lesbian grandmothers. And while we’re at it, all types of bows! But, what’s a bow? ‘Tis naught but a stick and a piece of twine! Shall we ban sticks? Shall we ban twine? Should this once great nation be reduced to using nothing but frozen legs of lamb in self defense?

  • Dalben

    That’s assuming you’re still allowed meat.

  • Bruce

    Can of “air freshener” and a Zippo….?

  • Runcie Balspune

    Duplicate of Bruce’s post, sorry

  • Thailover

    And note, in areas where pepper spray use is not legal (yes, this is a thing), no one can fine you for having a rather large can of Raid Wasp Spray handy, and it can shoot a stream of nastiness over 12 feet with accuracy.

    Personally, I prefer my Glock.

  • Thailover

    Anji is Angie with poor spelling skills. Now if I could just get that damned Rolling Stones song out of my head.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thai, worth remembering. Thanks.

  • bobby b

    Not too sure about the wasp spray.

    I’ve been sprayed directly in the face with knock-down wasp spray – into my eyes, mouth, nose, hair – and, aside from the really bad taste, a slight stinging in the eyes, a headache, and nausea from the lingering odor, I felt no ill effect. It certainly wouldn’t have stopped me from doing something I was intent on doing.

    (And, as an aside, I would counsel that, when embarking on a wasps-nest eradication, you not let your wife be the one to have the wasp spray can. Just don’t.)

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    “wouldn’t have stopped me from doing something I was intent on doing” — depends on your threat model. I reckon most home invaders will run off at the first sign of trouble. Here is a robbery being foiled by chili powder: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43882686

  • William O. B'Livion

    > But I am mystified by the supportive tone of the Mirror reporter, and of most of the comments,

    Are you really mystified, or did you not get “… her family which include her partner Rebecca, son Dillon and elderly mum Lilian.”

    It doesn’t *read* like you’re being sarcastic, but I’m not always sure.